Researchers have developed a low-cost, electricity-free device capable of detecting the DNA of infectious pathogens, including HIV-1.
"The device uses a small scale chemical reaction, rather than electric power, to provide the heat needed to amplify and detect the DNA or RNA of pathogens present in blood samples obtained from potentially infected individuals," according to the National Institutes of Health, which funded the research.
Phase change material in the device stabilizes the test material within a narrow temperature range. The device, developed by the Seattle-based nonprofit PATH
, is designed to be used in remote parts of the world that lack electricity and refrigeration.